The State Bank of Pakistan has the tradition of organizing a prestigious series of Zahid Husain Memorial lectures. These lectures are humble tribute to Mr. Zahid Husain - the first Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) - whose illustrious span of services at SBP is spread over a period of five years, starting from June 1948 to July 1953.
Mr. Zahid Husain was a legendary personality of a very high caliber and repute which is evident from his record of serving at the highest levels. To mention a few, he started with the noble job of teaching at Aligarh University, before passing the Competitive Examination of Finance Department and joining the Government Service of undivided India. After partition, he was assigned the responsibility of serving as the first High Commissioner of Pakistan to India. He also served as the Chairman of Taxation Inquiry Committee as well as Chairman of the Planning Board, thereby authoring the Five-Year Development Plan of the country. Above all, he spearheaded the Central Bank of Pakistan through its infancy stage which was not an easy task by any means. On the one hand, he was to deal with the challenge of establishing a safe-and-sound financial system while, on the other, he was to cope with the daunting task of meeting the huge requirements of economy that was already in the midst of passing through precarious conditions after independence. Although this appeared to be something like an insurmountable one, however, it was the commendable talent, perfect determination, and the relentless efforts of Mr. Zahid Husain which made it possible to achieve this uphill task.
In recognition of the meritorious services rendered by him for the nation, it was decided on occasion of the Silver Jubilee of State Bank of Pakistan in 1973, to institute a series of lectures and to name the series after Mr. Zahid Husain. Under the program, eminent economists of international repute are invited to deliver lectures on the topical significance. Starting in 1975, so far 20 lectures have been organized; the latest one held in January 2015 wherein Dilip Mookherjee, a professor of economics and Director of the Institute for Economic Development, Boston University, U.S.A. shared his thoughts with the audience on the topic of “Trader Agent Intermediated Lending (TRAIL): A New Approach to Financing Smallholder Agriculture in LDCs”.